Oshawa Orientation ’22 event to welcome incoming post-secondary students to the city


Published August 10, 2022 at 11:57 am

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A two-week break begins for students starting Dec. 22.

Plans are well under way for Oshawa Orientation Experience ’22, a collaborative effort between the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce and the City to welcome incoming students at Oshawa’s three post-secondary schools next month with the goal of making the students comfortable enough to want to stay after graduation.

Ontario Tech came up with the idea during 2022 student orientation planning when a survey provided “compelling feedback” that new students would value an improved introduction and connection to Oshawa.

The Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Oshawa Business Alliance were then brought into the discussion and Chamber CEO Jason King took the idea to Oshawa Council, who pledged their support, calling it a “good business investment.”

The event will take place Saturday, September 10 – the first weekend after Labour Day –  in downtown Oshawa with concerts, activities and other events designed to welcome students from all three of Oshawa’s post-secondary institutions: Ontario Tech University, Durham College and Trent University.

“The strategic view of this event is to look at 2022 as ‘Year One’ of an annual event, which would have the ultimate goal and long-term effect of introducing students to local business and cultural activities to make Oshawa feel more like home, perhaps permanently, for the students,” King explained.

The event would include a welcome of students at Civic Square (or other downtown City property) to convey the message ‘thank you for choosing Oshawa; we welcome you and we choose you too’ with an address from local leaders and activations and information displays, as well as ‘culturejamming,’ with event partners tasked with creating unique culinary, cultural or recreational experiences for the new students.

A final event at a large facility in the form of a music performance would cap off the day.

Organizers have recently put out a call for local guides for the event – they have hired 19 with another four or five on the wish list – and King said job of bringing in performers and setting up events is going well.

“It’s been hectic booking all the different elements,” he said. “We have some cool performers booked so it’s going very well.”

All three Oshawa post-secondary schools have already written letters of support with the City being asked to provide in-kind services such as security and free use of venues such as the Bandshell and Memorial Park.

“A successful year one provides us all with a platform to iterate our way to a better and more self sustaining event in future years,” noted King, “including through the application for external grant funding from other levels of government.”

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